Are we all delusional? (and other questions about having a relationship with God)

Explore God

On Monday I met up with pastors John Burke and Eric Bryant of Gateway Church here in Austin to film a Q&A session for the Explore God campaign. Burke, Bryant, and the moderator Bridget Henderson have done an amazing job with this series, so it was an honor to be a part of it. The question for this session was, “Is it possible to have a personal relationship with God?” Here’s the video if you’d like to check it out: A few of the many questions we discussed were: Richard Dawkins says belief in God is delusional. But... Read More

Explaining where God is when we suffer, when there are no words

No 7 Quick Takes Friday this week. Blessed Good Friday to you all! I don’t know whether I’m just extra sensitive right now or whether a whole lot of people are having a really bad 2013, but it seems that I’ve come across an unusual number of stories of great suffering lately. From friends, from blogs I follow, and from the media, I have heard stories that leave me stunned with sympathetic grief, wondering how the people involved could possibly survive such a cross. Naturally, I often wonder where God is in all of this. I mean,... Read More

The least of these

As many of you probably already know, the Dobrovits family lost their special little boy named Henry last week. The story of his short two years on earth, and of how he ended up in their family, is an amazing one that needs to be shared. I had the honor of meeting Henry’s mother, Carla, at the Behold Conference both in 2011 and this year, and was profoundly impacted by the story of her discernment to adopt, and the journey they’ve been on since then. I’m glad Carla has been keeping a blog the whole time, so I can let her tell you... Read More

My (very late) word for the year

I didn’t choose a “word of the year” this year. The New Year happened to coincide a particularly low point in the book process, even by doomed project standards, and I scrapped the whole word choosing process when the only options I could come up with were: Futility Despair Floccinaucinihilipilification Then last Tuesday I found myself at daily Mass, and I think I got my word. My husband had kindly arranged to take a day off of work so that I could get some time to recuperate after a month that has so far been insane on a lot... Read More

Five bags for Alicia

Last Monday I did a major closet cleanout. It came about in the way all of my big household projects come about: I noticed that there was a problem, muttered something along the lines of I should do something about this at some point, promptly forgot about it, and ignored the situation until it got to the point of ruining my life. On Monday morning I was looking for a t-shirt and my arm got stuck in a jumbled of clothes, and only became more entrenched the more I struggled. I momentarily thought that my closet had become a malevolent organism that... Read More

Rock the present moment

One of the topics I’ve struggled with since the beginning of my conversion is the role of ambition in the Christian life. I have an odd personality type that could be described as “mostly extremely lazy, with occasional flashes of Type A behavior.” In other words, by default I sit on the couch and do nothing; but when I do decide to get up from the couch, I make it worth my while. I think this is why the concept of being ambitious is a tricky one for me: It’s easy for me to be tempted to do nothing and call it virtue, passing... Read More

What kneeling on a department store floor taught me about gratitude

As regular readers know, I am a gratitude ignoramus. This concept that flows so easily through the lives of others never fails to leave me confounded; I stand around scratching my head and analyzing what it means to count your blessings, while other people are actually counting their blessings. Ann Voskamp (whose blog I’m pretty sure the Bible specifically commands us to read) was the first person to get me thinking about this concept. I would read through her 1,000 Gifts posts and feel the Holy Spirit pouring through my computer screen,... Read More

Living an awesome story

A good nickname for me would be “Inertia,” because, like the dictionary definition of the word, I tend to “exist in a state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.” If my choice is accepting an invitation to go to an interesting social event or continuing to sit in front of my computer, I’ll choose the latter. If I had an idea for a new way to decorate the living room, I wouldn’t do it, even if I had the time or money. In other words, left to my own devices,... Read More

6 Questions My Spiritual Director Would Ask

I’ve mentioned a few times that I had an amazing spiritual director named Christie. Unfortunately, she’s gotten busy with other commitments and I haven’t been able to meet with her lately, so I’ve been without a spiritual director for a while now. I hope to find a new person soon, but in the meantime I’ve been thinking back on my conversations with her, particularly when I’m trying to discern the right path for some big decision where there’s no clear right answer. When recalling our meetings, I realized... Read More

No, son, the F-word actually won’t make your life better

My six-year-old son returned from Yaya‘s house on Monday to report a thrilling discovery: according to the older boys on her street, there is a really, really bad word that starts with F! His eyes sparkled as he reported this most important of news. “They told me that there’s this horrible word, and it begins with F. I thought I knew what it was — fat – but they said that that wasn’t it. They said that this one is even worse!” He stared off into space for a moment, almost drooling at the prospect of obtaining... Read More

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